Living in The Philippines > Travel: Countries to Visit from the Philippines

Ho Chi Minh City(Saigon), Vietnam

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The 13-20 Sept 2015 my asawa and I visited Saigon.  The last time I left Saigon was 14 Mar 1968, and had made myself a promise that I would comeback and stay at the Continental Hotel Saigon.  Well I have kept that promise since we stayed there 7 night, in room 214, which was the room Graham Greene the author of "The Quit American" stayed in.  The room had a balcony overlooking the Opera House.  Hotel was built in the late 1800s but is maintained well and been upgraded.  Fantastic location within walking distance of many landmarks, restaurants, shops and 3 upscale malls.  Having been there before almost 50 years ago we took no tours but did our own thing.  Used a taxi for some locations, but the charge was minimal.  Had great German, Italian and Spanish meals all the restaurants within a 5 minute walk from the hotel.  The hotel has a great buffet breakfast every morning that is included in the room price.  Being US citizen you will need a visa, which you can get online for about $18.  Your Pinay spouse/GF does not need a visa.  Got my BB stamp on the return to the Philippines.


How did you feel safety wise walking around there, would you say it is at least as safe as the Philippines, or safer, or not safe at all?


Felt safer than in Manila, but there are pickpockets, etc., there like anywhere.  Crime rate overall is pretty low.  City was a big change from 1968, very clean and a lot of new building completed and in progress.  Putting an underground Metro in the city.  The old motorized cyclos are gone, but scooters/motorcycles are rampant, they even drive on the sidewalks if traffic backs up.
You are an instant millionaire when you arrive.  $1=22445 VN Dong while we where there.  Food prices were very reasonable in the local restaurants.  Great lunches were around $15-20 including alcoholic beverages.  San Miguel beer is readily available there.  We bought beers, sodas, snacks, etc., at the 7-11 for about 1/3/ to 1/2 what it cost in the hotel fridge.  Also the $18 in my OP is for the VISA on arrival letter, you pay an additional $45 at the airport for the Visa sticker.


Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am:
Looks like a pretty grand old hotel! It's on my "Bucket List"!


It is a grand old hotel.  Next door is a Hyatt, across the square is the Caravelle, and down one block on Dong Khoi(old Tudo Street) is a Sheraton.  If you do stay there spring for the Junior Suite(45 sqm) with balcony and view of the Opera House.  Can normally find on most sites or their site for less than $100 a night including taxes, well worth it.  Art in the images on our room(the 2 windows) was above the HOT in Hotel Continental Saigon.



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